Thursday, 25 April 2013

Simply toys, creative playing

Ever since I came across the book "Simplicity Parenting" one year back, I have always believed that too many toys are no good for children, especially fancy battery-powered and brightly colored electronic toys.

Throughout the last two and half year, we have been very "stingy" with buying toys for Kah Yen. We visit "Roys R Us" not more than two times a year, and each time we have not spent more than S$50. She does not have a lot of toys at home, which is totally fine. I have noticed with the few toys we have, she can have more imaginative play, she is more focus when she is at play, and it is always fun to observe how she plays.

Here are some photos I have taken over time of her and her simply toys.

Soft toys

Children, no matter boys or girls, should never be deprived of soft toys. Soft toys are usually the first toys they have when they are still an infant lying in their cribs. Through soft toys, they develop their touch sensor, they learn about different animals, they develop their first "friendship", and they get to pretend to be grown-up mothers, doctors and teachers.

Don't buy too many soft toys though. Just stick to a few your children really like. Also note not all soft toys are suitable for young babies due to the loose fur materials.
Playing seesaw with her "friends" on our bolster
Animal figurines

Similar to soft toys, children love to pretend play with them. Animal figurines can also be played together with many other toys, such as building blocks, picnic sets.

Recently, Kah Yen likes to take out all her animal figurines and help them to either stand or sleep one by one, and she'd talk to them as she does it. She can be on it for a long time.

Animals ready to a-march together

Now time to take a nap on the green pasture

Building blocks

Building blocks of all shapes and sizes are the best toy you can ever get for your little ones. They are open-ended. They can be used to create anything that is in the children's mind. While playing with building blocks, young children develop their fine-motor skills, thinking skills, and most importantly, their imagination will soar!

"If I ran the zoo"


Lego is one of the best buys we had. Lego is similar to building blocks, slightly more limited but also can be used to create almost everything. Lego helps to build fine motor skills because it requires a hard grip.

Welcome to Kah Yen's tree house

Cooking/Picnic Set

Okay, these belong to the "cheap plastic toys" category. Some parents prefer to give their children real cooking sets from the kitchen (of course make sure the size and materials are suitable), but if you can't find any suitable ones, a set of the plastic ones is the next best option. We bought them really cheap and until this day Kah Yen still love to play with them.

What's for dinner?

Donkey's breakfast

Art & Craft materials 

With Art & Craft materials, there are so much room for imaginations and learning.

Since young, Kah Yen has been playing with magnetic drawing board, and when she is bigger, we give her crayons and finger painting materials. In fact, when we travel, we always make sure we have drawing board or crayons with us, they can keep Kah Yen occupied no matter where we are. Recently we have started to do craft activities with her too.

Lunch is done, time to draw something

The bunny family
Other good open-ended toys are playdough and dress-up clothes, we don't have them but I am on a misson to get some soon.

Here are some good articles about simply toys and creative playing. Stop buying too many plastic toys, too many battery powered toys, too many hi-tech educational gadgets. With simply toys, engage them and be an active participant in their play, it foster your children's development more than letting them be buried inside clustered toys.

Our Top 3 Favorite Simply Toys
Toys That Encourage Creative Play
Smartest toys can be the simplest

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